Freshfields takes the lead as BIS sells remaining £1.5bn stake in Royal Mail

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has retained its role for the Government on the future of Royal Mail, advising as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) sells its remaining 30 per cent stake in the company valued at around £1.5bn. 

Freshfields London partners Mark Austin and Julian Makin are representing BIS as it sets about selling the remaining holding of shares.

The sale will complete the privatisation of the Royal Mail that began with an initial public offering of shares in October 2013.

The remaining 70 per cent of Royal Mail is held by a combination of employees and private investors.

The deal was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne last week as part of the new Government’s efforts to continue cutting the deficit.

Background to the deal

Freshfields also acted on the flotation of Royal Mail in 2013, with corporate partner Tim Jones acting for BIS (12 September 2013). The firm is often appointed to act on the government’s behalf, most recently advising the Treasury on the Government’s stake in Eurostar (5 March 2015).

Despite also advising on the IPO of Royal Mail, Slaughter and May is playing no part in this transaction. It is a regular adviser to Royal Mail and was named on its new panel last year (27 November 2014) along with DAC Beachcroft and CMS Cameron McKenna.